FROM AGING TO SAGING … Reflections of an Elder in process!
A number of weeks ago, I was serving as the Pastoral Care Chaplain at our candle boat after our Sunday service. A middle-aged septuagenarian congregant came forward to share a dilemma he was facing. He shared: “Over the last three years, I have lost three very close friends of mine. I really miss them. This is raising a number of issues for me. Do I need to be in a grief group or should I be preparing for my own demise?” I shared my own experience of the same things and feelings happening in my life. I then wondered about the sizable part of our congregation who might be going through the same. Making meaning at this stage in our life seemed to be the question. What came to me was a phrase I had ran across somewhere…“FROM AGE-ING TO SAGE-ING”
When I got home that afternoon, I googled that phrase and found a book entitled: From Age-ing to Sage-ing: I acquired that book and found this vision of an elder that I now want to share with you.
What are Elders? “They are the wisdom keepers who have an ongoing responsibility for maintaining society’s well-being and safeguarding the health of our ailing planet. They are pioneers in consciousness who practice contemplative arts from our spiritual traditions to open up greater intelligence for their late life vocations. Using tools for inner growth, such as meditation, journal writing, and life reviews, elders come to terms with their mortality, harvest the wisdom of their years and transmit a legacy for future generations. Serving as mentors they pass on the distilled essence of their life experience to others. The Joy of passing on wisdom to younger people not only seeds the future, but crowns an elder’s life with worth and nobility.”
I have subsequently shared these thoughts with Rev. John. As a result, John and I would like to see if there would be an interested group of our congregation, who would like to be involved in forming an “AGING TO SAGING” initiative making this vision manifest within our congregation. Please either reply to this message (it will go to my private mailbox automatically) or email me or Rev. John with your thoughts. Based on what we hear from you we can move forward with this activity.
– Rev. Jim Francek